Thoughts: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, one of the best sequels ever made. Because less people have actually seen The Last Crusade compared to Raiders of the Lost Ark, this will be a spoiler free review.
The Last Crusade is one of my all-time favorite movies, it is enjoyable to watch with so much nostalgia and pure fun throughout. Featuring my two favorite actors of all-time, Harrison Ford and Sean Connery, in the same movie is pure brilliance. They play off each other perfectly with spot on comedic timing and you really believe they are father and son. Their father-son relationship is really the core of the film and it is easily the best I have seen in a movie (other than Empire Strikes Back but they kind of hated each other). It humanizes Indy even more and I was have liked good father-son relationships in film. Something that I noticed this viewing of the film, is how suspenseful the Last Crusade is, it makes me gasp everything during some scenes.
While the opening does not match Raiders of the Lost Ark's, it is excellent. It gives Indiana a backstory, which was never really talked about before, starting with a flash back to one of earliest adventures. You see how he obtains his iconic hat, whip and fear of snakes all in the first 10 minutes. Plus it is a great action set piece as well.
The story and characters are so involving you almost feel like you are with them in their adventure. An interesting aspect of The Last Crusade is that the film has very slightly less action than the previous two installments in the franchise and focus more the characters being in peril, which does create great suspense. But the humorous tone can be absolutely hilarious at times, yet the humor never feels out of place.
Directed by: Steven Spielberg.
Genre: Action Adventure.
Release date: June 12, 1981 (1981-06-12)
Running Time: 127mins
MMPA rating: PG-13
The Good: Ford and Connery in the same movie, Perfect use of humor, Great father-son relationship, Spot on pacing, Sharp dialogue, Impressive chase scene, Surprisingly suspenseful, Hilarious at times, Great action scenes, Amazing John Williams score, Excellent editing, Perfect way to end the trilogy,
Plot: The following plot summary is copied from Wikipedia.com.
1912, 12-year-old Indiana Jones is horseback riding with his Boy Scout troop in Utah. He discovers grave robbers in a cave who find an ornamental cross which belonged to Coronado and steals the cross from them. As they give chase, Indiana hides in a circus train. Although he escapes, the grave robbers bring the sheriff, and Indiana is forced to return it. Meanwhile, his oblivious father, Henry Jones, Sr., is working on his research into the Holy Grail, keeping meticulous notes in a diary. The leader of the hired robbers, dressed very similarly to the future Indiana and impressed by the young Indiana's tenacity, gives him his fedora and some encouraging words.
In 1938, after recovering the cross and donating it to Marcus Brody's museum, Indiana is introduced to Walter Donovan, who informs him that Indiana's estranged father has vanished while searching for the Holy Grail, using an incomplete inscription as his guide. Indiana receives a package which turns out to be his father's Grail diary, containing his father's research. Understanding that his father would not have sent the diary unless he was in trouble, Indiana and Marcus travel to Venice, where they meet Henry's colleague, Dr. Elsa Schneider. Beneath the library where Henry was last seen, Indiana and Elsa discover catacombs and the tomb of a knight of the First Crusade, with a complete version of the inscription that Henry used. They flee when the catacombs are set aflame by The Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword, a secret society. Indiana and Elsa are pursued and escape on a speedboat, and a chase through Venice ensues in which they capture the secret society's leader, Kazim. After Indiana convinces him of their legitimate intentions, Kazim explains that The Brotherhood are protecting the Grail from those with evil intentions, and that Henry was abducted to Brunwald Castle on the Austrian-German border. Watch the movie to see what happens next.
Plot: 9.9/10- The stakes have never been higher for Jones than in The Last Crusade, which makes the film even more involving. With the fate of his father and even the fate of world from the Nazi menace, everything is more intense, yet the tone is still extremely fun. Surprisingly, there is less action than the previous Indiana Jones movies with more focus on story, discovery, peril and Indy's relationship with his father, which all worked perfectly.
Action: 9.8/10- While there is not quite as much action as the previous Indiana Jones films, the quality of the action is there, with some very impressive action set pieces. The motorcycle chase is excellent, its intense and fast paced, but not on par with the amazing "Chase for the Ark" in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Also *Spoiler* The tank battle at the end is great, its filled with tension and fun action. *End of Spoiler*
Acting: 10/10- You really cannot get much better than Harrison Ford and Sean Connery in the same film. Easily the best duo of actors to be put on screen and they play off each other so well, it almost seems natural. Alison Doody as Dr. Elsa Schneider, and Julian Glover as Walter Donovan are both great in their roles. The return of Denholm Elliott as Dr. Marcus Brody, who was hilarious, and John Rhys-Davies as Sallah were great to see in the final installment.
Special effects: 8.6/10- With the exception of excellent stunt work, The Last Crusade has the least amount of special effects of the Indiana Jones films. However, the effects that are present hold up well today.
Soundtrack: 10/10- John Williams' score is more dynamic in this movie than the previous films with more subtle themes that compliment the Last Crusade brilliantly.
Comedy: 9.5/10- Definitely the funniest of the franchise, the Last Crusade hits all the right comedic notes. The humor is always well timed and placed throughout the film, mostly from the dialogue and situational humor.
Would I Watch This Again: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is one of the few films that give me pure pleasure every time I watch it from beginning to end. As with Raiders, I have seen it too many times to count.
Overall: 9.9/10- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is perfect way to end the franchise, its fun, exciting, and involving throughout, easily one of the best sequels ever made.
Closing comments: Although some might say that the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is the last movie in the Indiana Jones franchise, I refuse to admit that disgrace to the franchise was the last installment because the Last Crusade ended the series perfectly. The Last Crusade is my literally my 10th favorite of all-time, few even come close.
Recommended for: Anyone, If you watched the previous Indy films, Action fans, Action Adventure fans, Fantasy fans, Harrison Ford fans, Sean Connery fans,
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